By 90Min
October 20, 2017

With both sides drawing their previous matches, West Ham and Brighton head into their encounter at the London Stadium needing a win.

The two teams should have won their games last week but moments of madness from Andy Carroll and Bruno saw their chances of victories against Burnley and Everton scuppered.

It's a battle between 14th and 15th on Friday, with the Seagulls holding the edge over the Hammers due to their superior goal difference.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the game...


Classic Encounter

Not a classic for Brighton fans, but West Ham's 6-0 victory over the south coasters in April 2012 maintained Sam Allardyce's side's automatic promotion hopes.

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Brighton, who ultimately finished 10th in the 2011-12 Championship season, were overrun as Ricardo Vaz Te scored a hat-trick, Kevin Nolan notched a tap-in, Carlton Cole's shot deflected in  off Henri Lansbury and Gary Dicker scored an own goal.

West Ham finished third in the league that season, beating Blackpool in the play-off final to secure their route back into the Premier League alongside Reading and Southampton.


Key Battle

Michail Antonio vs Markus Suttner

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Antonio has a talent for back-post headers, and that's something that Brighton and Markus Suttner particularly will have to watch out for.

Also fast and dynamic with the ball at his feet, Antonio is arguably the Hammers' biggest goal threat, even more so than striker Javier Hernandez, and Suttner will need to deny the Englishman of any space or time on the ball.

Suttner isn't renowned for bombing forward, instead defending diligently, but his lack of attacking threat could give Antonio more licence to stay forward and support his fellow attackers Marko Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini and Hernandez.

Anthony Knockaert vs Aaron Cresswell

Frenchman Knockaert has blown too hot and cold so far this season, but could be about to hit a rich vein of form after netting against Everton last time out.

The 25-year-old was arguably Brighton's most important player last season, winning the Championship Player of the Year award, and Chris Hughton needs the creative winger to start performing at his best.

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Up against Knockaert is Aaron Cresswell, who recently made his third appearance for England and has become West Ham's undisputed first choice left-back.

His defensive contribution is sometimes questionable and the 27-year-old will need to be aware of Knockaert, who has the skill and pace to make the battle an exciting one.


Team News

James Collins and Diafra Sakho will both definitely miss out for West Ham, who will also be without Andy Carroll after his red card at Burnley.

Javier Hernandez is expected to start despite an injury scare, while Adrian is a doubt to make the squad due to a stomach problem.

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Tomer Hemed will complete his three-match ban on Friday, with Steve Sidwell also definitely ruled out through injury.

Sam Baldock and Beram Kayal are doubts, while Uwe Hunemeier is set to deputise for Shane Duffy, who had to be substituted during the draw with Everton.

Predicted West Ham XI: Hart, Zabaleta, Fonte, Reid, Cresswell, Obiang, Kouyate, Antonio, Lanzini, Arnautovic, Hernandez

Predicted Brighton XI: Ryan, Bruno, Dunk, Hunemeier, Suttner, Propper, Stephens, Knockaert, Gross, March, Murray


Prediction 

A tough one to call, this. The two sides have made similar starts to the season, but home advantage could prove vital, as well as the extra dose of attacking quality at West Ham's disposal.

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Brighton won't be rolled over, as shown in defeats to Manchester City and Arsenal, but without Shane Duffy at the back they could be left exposed against the likes of Hernandez, Antonio and Lanzini. 

West Ham need a win, and they might just get it here.

Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Brighton

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